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Feb-28-2013 17:17printcomments

Merkley Statement on Senate's Failure to Avert the Sequester

"Lurching from crisis to crisis is no way to govern"

Senator Jeff Merkley
Senator Jeff Merkley photo courtesy: downwithtyranny.blogspot.com

(WASHINGTON DC) - Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after a bill to replace the sequester was blocked by a minority of senators:

“It is unacceptable that the Senate has failed to act to avert the sequester. A majority in the Senate voted today to replace the sequester in a balanced way that prioritizes jobs and economic growth. It is outrageous that a minority of senators blocked this bill.

“Lurching from crisis to crisis is no way to govern, and now Americans will suffer further from Congress’s dysfunction as these drastic cuts kick in. I voted against the deal that created the sequester because I feared the sequester cuts would hold back our economic recovery and come down on our most vulnerable. It is shameful that an estimated 750,000 Americans may lose their jobs because Washington can’t undo the “cliffs” and “sequesters” gimmicks it set up solely to force it to make hard decisions. As a result, Oregon schools will lose $10 million in basic K-12 funding, and thousands of women, children and seniors will lose access to vital services like health care, food and housing assistance. That is just wrong. And, it’s only one small part of what the sequester will do.

“It is time for Washington to face up to the task of governing responsibly and focus on moving the economy forward. We must get off the roller coaster of crisis-to-crisis government and put in place a long-term plan with balanced deficit reduction and smart investments in our future, a plan that will create jobs not cost jobs. I will continue to fight for this vision and to replace these mindless cuts as soon as possible.”

The bill Merkley supported today would have achieved the same deficit reduction as the sequester over the next year by cutting spending on egregious tax loopholes, winding down the war in Afghanistan, and implementing cuts agreed to in the bipartisan Senate farm bill last year.

Source: News release from the office of Senator Jeff Merkley

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